Monday, December 13th 2010

AMD Cayman Taken Apart, PCB Pictured

We've seen quite a few pictures of the AMD Radeon HD 6970 from its exterior, including some finer details observable. For the first time, we're getting to take a peek inside, thanks to a Chinese website that looks to be auctioning off an HD 6970 ahead of launch for a quick buck, if we're not terribly mistaken. The PCB shot reveals many details about the GPU and its board design:
  • To begin with, the GPU indeed has a 256-bit wide memory interface, counting the memory chips on the obverse side, and looking at the size of the GPU package.
  • The size of the die, and taken that Cayman is a 40 nm GPU, indicate that Cayman is not much bigger than Cypress, it should be about 400~500 million transistors higher compared to Cypress.
  • Given the roughly 2500 million transistor count, the stream core count of 1536 seems more realistic. AMD is said to be using an architecturally superior VLIW4 stream processor design that increases performance per mm² die area.
  • The board uses a high-grade 6+2+1+1 phase digital PWM voltage regulation design, draws power from 8+6 pin power connectors.
  • The reverse side of the PCB has no memory chips, so AMD might be using 2 Gbit memory chips to get 2 GB of total memory

Images Courtesy: Taobao.com
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37 Comments on AMD Cayman Taken Apart, PCB Pictured

#1
Imsochobo
Jstn7477 said:
My Sapphire HD 3850 AGP has an 8 pin power connector, but it still runs fine on a 6 pin connector. I'm pretty sure my single slot 3850 AGP does not consume 205w of power, just because it has an 8 pin connector.

Another example: ATI Radeon 5670. Some models come with a 6 pin PCIe connector, others don't. It is highly unlikely that a 400sp chip consumes 150w of power.

TL;DR: Maybe AMD wants us to have some more overclocking headroom. But for now, we should wait for some actual reviews before we go calling this a GTX 480.
I expect their " peak usage"

They measure once 260 W usage, then its rated 260W
alltho, some tests of 4890 showed tdp rated at 190W and still people cudnt make it do that in games, while with nvidia (480 580) they have just done that, end up on tdp values.
Amd stays whitin PEG as much as possible (4870x2 was exception ? and a terrible card)

btw, i have a 190W (furmark with OC) card 6+8 pin, so much for a 300W card i have, rated at 180W
Plugs mean nothing, real tests before drawing conclusions please, speculations are allowed, and we all do.
I expect 200-220W
Posted on Reply
#2
_JP_
arnoo1 said:
no thanks lol

6pin peg connector +8pin peg connector says enough, that around 300wat with the 75 watts you wil get out of the pci-e 2.0 slot
Considering what you've said, I'll assume that you purchase a car (for example) based on the max reading of the car's analogue speedometer, or the number of exhaust pipes or even the rim size... :shadedshu
Seriously now, read what Jstn7477 and Imsochobo said. They're on the ball.
And, FYI, 6-pin PCI-e power plug is rated for 75W and the 8-pin for 150W, and these are the absolute maximums.
Posted on Reply
#3
pentastar111
jasper1605 said:
I swear on my life I'll pistol whip the next person to do a shadedshu in reference to the shader count on a graphics card.
1536 shaders:shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#4
overclocking101
the pcb looks suprisingly clean meaning the 6990 would fit in a board jut 2-3 inches larger. I wonder why there is so much wasted pcb? but the toggle switch is on this pcb dual bios?? the digital vrms (w00t volterra) will be great for the power but im sure will run insanely hot. I to am wondering why they would put it back into the front of the board instead of putting it towards the vent as the 68XX cards are. it would make more sense temp wise for sure. now lets see if its all it is cracked up to be, because imo it will not be a good thing for amd unless through drivers they somehow give a major performance boost.
Posted on Reply
#5
phanbuey
_JP_ said:
Considering what you've said, I'll assume that you purchase a car (for example) based on the max reading of the car's analogue speedometer, or the number of exhaust pipes or even the rim size... :shadedshu
Seriously now, read what Jstn7477 and Imsochobo said. They're on the ball.
And, FYI, 6-pin PCI-e power plug is rated for 75W and the 8-pin for 150W, and these are the absolute maximums.
Posted on Reply
#6
pr0n Inspector
_JP_ said:
Considering what you've said, I'll assume that you purchase a car (for example) based on the max reading of the car's analogue speedometer, or the number of exhaust pipes or even the rim size... :shadedshu
Seriously now, read what Jstn7477 and Imsochobo said. They're on the ball.
And, FYI, 6-pin PCI-e power plug is rated for 75W and the 8-pin for 150W, and these are the absolute maximums.
More like "base on the spec of the fuel injection system".

Also, would you kindly tell us how do the extra two pins on a 6+2 connector magically double its amperage rating?
Posted on Reply
#7
HalfAHertz
pentastar111 said:
1536 shaders:shadedshu
less total shaders but 20% more shader units overall - 320 (320*5D for 5870) vs 384 (384*4D for cayman). So in cases where the old arch was underutilized (games being the most common culprit) we can expect at least 20% better performance, add in improvements in the memory subsystem, the dual issue dispatch engine and higher clocks and what you get is a great product. And all this with only a relatively small increase in die area...
I don't think we'll see a performance king but we're sure as heck getting a great competitor on the price/performance front and that always leads to price drops. Most leaked reviews pin the 6970 smack in the middle of the 570 and the 580.
Posted on Reply
#9
Mussels
Moderprator
pr0n Inspector said:
More like "base on the spec of the fuel injection system".

Also, would you kindly tell us how do the extra two pins on a 6+2 connector magically double its amperage rating?
they dont at all. they're just extra ground wires.
Posted on Reply
#10
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Mussels said:
they dont at all. they're just extra ground wires.
WEll, more like a sense wire, but yeah, not one that carries a charge that's used by the card..it's partly supposed to be used to signal that the extra current draw is OK(and hence the paperclip trick).

http://pics.bbzzdd.com/users/MarkR/pcie-pinout.png

this pic is partly wrong...but how it's wrong should be obvious...the 12v-ground wires are swapped.
Posted on Reply
#11
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
W1zz you get your review sample yet?
Posted on Reply
#12
arnoo1
wow it's a gtx 580, max 287watts xd
Posted on Reply
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